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Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI)

economic and community development institute Columbus Ohio cleveland akron canton portsmouth cincinnati toledo treasury loan financial small-business

Who We Are: ECDI is a small business support organization, serving Ohio’s under-banked people and communities. We help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by providing loan funding, business training, and mentoring. We are dedicated to assuring every entrepreneur–regardless of where they came from, where they live, their gender, or their race–has the resources they need to build sustainable small businesses that enrich and support the lives of the entrepreneurs, their employees, families, and the people they serve. In 2021, we became America’s highest-volume SBA microlender. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, certified Community Development Corporation (CDC), and a U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), headquartered in Columbus, with offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Portsmouth, and Toledo.

What We Do: We work to level the playing field under-banked entrepreneurs–those who do not have the benefit of an established history within the mainstream credit industry, due to their social or geographic community, cultural background, gender, life’s history, or other factors, and who are likely to experience barriers on the road to business ownership–by providing access to funding and other resources our clients have previously gone without, so they can build and grow strong, sustainable businesses. We provide general entrepreneur services, along with focused programing through the ECDI Women’s Business Centers of Ohio, Food Business Incubation Services, Social Enterprise Hub, and Minority Contractor Resource Center.

Why We’re Important: For entrepreneurs who have spent a lifetime outside of the financial and business mainstream, access to funding can make all the difference, while ongoing training, education, and mentorship and can greatly increase their rate of success. Our passionate team has a proven track record of putting funds in the hands of small businesses who need it and providing tireless mentoring and support.

How We Impact the Community: Since we began, we’ve disbursed nearly $140 million through more than 4,000 loans, assisted more than 28,000 entrepreneurs, and helped to create or retain nearly 15,000 jobs. A 2018 study of ECDI clients, made possible by a grant from MasterCard Foundation, found that the impact on the Ohio economy through ECDI clients–considering the ripple effect of hiring employees, buying supplies, and contracting work to other small businesses–comfortably exceeds $1 billion annually.

How You Can Help:

  • Donate: Help fight for economic justice by enabling under-resourced entrepreneurs to support themselves and their families. Your generosity helps support training, mentorship, and incubation programs that can transform nascent entrepreneurs into well-rounded businesspeople, and greatly increase their rate of success.

  • Volunteer: Our Professional Advisory Network (PAN), matches professionals with small business owners in need of coaching in the volunteer’s area of professional expertise.

Connect with Economic & Community Development Institute, (ECDI)

1655 Old Leonard Ave.

Columbus, OH 43219



Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn

Executive Director: Inna Kinney


Development Director: Anna Parlet


Board Chair: Darren Cherry

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